Batman: Gates of Gotham #1 of 5
Awesome cover by Trevor McCarthy with the Bat-Family in the pane glass windows behind Batman. Everyone from Damian to Babs, Steph, Catwoman, Cass Cain, Tim, Jason, Alfred, Huntress and more. We start things off with Alan Wayne and a few of his colleagues looking over plans for Gotham City to be built. We then jump forward to see Batman trying to get information out of a man named Ronnie, who was at the Gotham harbor when someone brought in three-hundred pounds of Semtex. Well damn... anyway the guy spills that it was Penguin who brought it in, but as he does a bridge blows up. Batman radios to Red Robin and tells him the new Trigate Bridge blew up, but Red Robin replies it's not just Trigate, it's a trio of bridges also including 22nd Street and Madison. Batman tells Red Robin to take whichever is worse and he'll see what he can do at New Trigate. Batman manages to save a few lives but the end result seems to be thirty-one dead and twenty-five being hospitalized with concussions and/or burns. When talking to Commissioner Gordon, Batman mentions that Ronnie pointed the finger at Penguin before the explosions but it doesn't seem like a Two-Face crime. Gordon mentions he should lean on him anyway and Batman says he will. Batman checks in with Red Robin for clues but Tim hasn't found anything either. Dick then mentions that the trigger man says "The Families of the Gates of Gotham will fall", to which Tim let's Dick know that the bridges used to be called "The Gates" back in the day. Batman then pays Oswald "Penguin" Cobblepot a visit, questioning him about the Semtex. Penguin denies that he did the explosions because he has no intention of blowing up a bridge that has his name. He reveals that Madison bridge was originally called "Cobblepot Pass." Batman recites that the trigger man said The families of the Gates of Gotham will fall and then used explosives Cobblepot helped him get to take out his bridge. Penguin tells Bats he never met the man but he hears he wears a rather interesting costume. Dick later meets with Tim to discuss their findings at the Bat-Bunker, and surprisingly, Cassandra Cain shows up. She mentions she was the one chasing the Semtex in Hong Kong and she should have been able to stop it. Damian then enters the room as they explain that the Wayne's are the family behind the New Trigate bridge, and the bridge on 22nd Street's heritage belongs to none other than the Elliot's, the family of Thomas "Hush" Elliot. The issue ends with us seeing Hush in Arkham being approached by someone in a costume asking if he'd like to come out and play. Awesome! I liked this comic, it was slow and methodical but built up well, plus it has Hush and after his treatment in the last few years I hope our boy Scott Snyder can give him a push in the right direction. I'll give this issue a 8/10 rating.
Batman: What is this, pleather? You know how flimsy that gets in the rain?
Power Girl #24
Power Girl starts with a very interesting story about an Arab-American man who's on a plane when it starts to go down to to engine failure. It turns out the man is a meta-human and has never told a soul about his powers and doesn't want to stand out. He does decide to use his powers and level out the plane to save all the passengers, including himself. He says he's aware that people would try to blame him or say he took down the plane but saving everyone is more important than that, and as he saves them, everyone looks out the window and would know they were safe thanks to the heroes who'd also stopped the plane from crashing, Batman, and Power Girl. Once they landed our Arab-American hero, Rayhan, was blamed as a terrorist and arrested, and six months later he's still in custody for something he didn't do. He's been denied an attorney and no one believes his story. They continue to interrogate him but he never changes his story, he's just a man who was afraid to use his powers because he knew people would fear him because of who he is. He asks if his father is okay since they've given him no outside contact, and wants nothing but to know if his father is okay, and he's told they'll see if they can find out, but they don't usually reward people who don't give them answers. We then see that the newly red-head Karen Starr's company, Starrware, is making huge rounds in the news. This leads to Karen Starr having a National Security Agent put with her which drives her insane because she's not used to having someone tell her what to do. She complains about it to Batman later to which he replies this is her fault. She's made Karen Starr a smart, powerful and media-savvy woman and she's now one shaved head away from being Lex Luthor, which has led to her being watched. But Batman says the world needs a Karen Starr, and that he'll help her anyway he can, which leads to us seeing Karen Starr attending a red carpet benefit with none-other than Bruce Wayne. We then see Rayhan in prison still, asking to see his father, but his guard deny him the chance. He says that from what they've told him he'll die soon, and they can send as many guards or put as many power dampeners on him they have to, but he wants to see his father, but they still deny him. We see that Rayhan has been able to break out at anytime but he hasn't out of respect for this country, but upon being told he couldn't see his dying father, that's as the final straw, so he bust out of the prison. Rayhan gets to the hospital and wants to see his father but they won't let him up without I.D., he says they can send security with him but he wants to see his father, but he's suddenly swooped up by Power Girl. She holds him while Batman moves in to put a power dampener on him but Rayhan fights back which takes Batman and Power Girl by surprise as the issue ends. I LOVED this issue. The storyline is genius, a nice guy who has power is immediately viewed as a terrorist because he tried to help and all because of his race. It's sad but a true thing in our society and Judd did an excellent job of putting us in Rayhan's shoes, a man who did nothing wrong and paid the price, I'll give this issue a 9.5/10.
Batman: You're a shaved head away from being Lex Luthor. You're going to be watched.
Power Girl: I guess it would be easier if I pretended I was a drunk playboy.Batman: It would. But not nearly as effective.
Batman and Robin #23
And now the moment I've been waiting for, Batman and Robin #23, written by Judd Winick, the Return of Jason Todd. We start things off seeing Batman, Nightwing and Robin, Bruce Wayne, Dick Grayson and Jason Todd catching a few criminals. While we see this we hear Batman and Nightwing discussing Jason, and both seem to have a lot of faith in the second Robin. In the end, Batman tells Nightwing that Jason is Robin, and he needs him to be the best he can be. We then jump forward to see The Red Hood, inmate number 357-428 (the first and last issues Jason appeared in as Robin), in a holding cell with Batman (Bruce Wayne) staring back at him. Jason has red hair, meaning the Morrison thing will stay in continuity, but I don't mind it because he kinda looks like Roy with long hair, it makes no sense but I won't mention it anymore because I'd just get annoyed. Anyway, Jason welcomes Bruce back to the land of the living, saying he knew he wasn't dead anyway, because Bruce wouldn't go out like that. Jason talks about what he remembers on his return to the land of the living, before asking Bruce how he is. Batman gets straight to business and mentions Jason asked for a transfer from Arkham to a correctional facility, which peeves Jason a bit, because he wants a talk before they get down to business, he even asks how Damian's mom is. Interesting... Bats tells Jason he's in Arkham for his safety, and Jason replies that Arkham is for the criminally insane, and he isn't insane, in fact he killed criminals. Jason says he's not insane, he's homicidal, and he will kill again, so lock him up with criminals, not in Batman's kennel for freaks. We then see Dick and Damian talking to Bruce in the Bat-Bunker, as Dick asks why Jason would want to go to a correctional facility where he'll have to fight off all the enemies he's made over the years. Bruce tells them because Jason has a plan, and they need to be prepared, because by the time they figure out what it is, it'll be too late. From there we see Jason showering when he's cornered by some goons, one of which had their brother killed by The Red Hood. Jason doesn't seem to be worried and even throws a few barbs their way which only upsets them further as Jason leaves. Later we see the main guy that was trying to confront Jason has been hanged in his cell, obviously that would point at Jason being his killer. While out reading during recreational time, Jason is attacked by a few prisoners, one with a shiv. Jason, being the well-trained Bat-family member he is, defends himself and makes even more enemies in the process. Over time we see more and more people try to take Jason out, he apparently has a price on his head, but they each end up dead. Over in Gotham, Batman and Robin take down a gang and overhear that their leader has committed suicide while locked up. Batman then calls the Warden, upset that he hadn't been contacted like he told the Warden to do if any problems arose. Meanwhile there's been nine suicides and six murders since the Red Hood was transferred there. The Warden tells Batman that 82 prisoners are now dead and over a hundred are ill due to poison in the food and that he suspects Red Hood after finding poison in the food. Batman says he's on the way but the Warden says The Red Hood has been moved back to Arkham and is currently en route. We see Jason as he talks about how he's always loved trouble, and how if you put him in a building with a bunch of criminals that deserve death and think he's gonna behave himself than you don't know him to well, and now he's on his way back to Arkham, unless something else comes up. Suddenly the squad cars escorting him are blown up and all the guards escorting Jason are killed. Jason asks who the hell just killed everyone and we see some giant animals toting guns for some reason and say their the ones breaking Jason out as the issue ends. Well that was weird. I loved the beginning with Bats, and I was hoping Jason would be redeemed but I'm not surprised he killed all those criminals, it's what he's been doing for years now. I don't know what to think about the whole, Jason being broken out by talking animals or whatever but I enjoyed most of the issue up until that point, PLUS I'm a big Jason fan so I'll give this a 8/10 and hope Judd has a plan for where this is going.
Jason Todd: You look good. And I don't just mean that because you were dead.
And just like that, three comics have come and gone. That's all for me this weeks guys and gals, thanks for reading and as always comments are appreciated. Below are the results for last week's poll and be sure to vote on the newer poll as well whenever I get a chance to put it up. Until next time, I'm your friendly neighborhood Blogger-Man, Jason Todd, signing off. You stay classy Todd Squad!
Last week's poll asked "Which Brightest Day character's series are you looking forward to the most?"
Last place with 0% - Swamp Thing and Firestorm... sad... just plain sad. Champion eh?
Second place with 12.5% - Aquaman and None of them... That's a pretty bad look for Aquaman too..
Winner with a whomping 75% - Justice League Generation Lost, so get Judd on it and let's go!
Next Time on Ratings and Rantings
Deadpool #37, Venom #3, Gotham City Sirens #23, Green Lantern #66, Green Lantern Corps. #60, Green Lantern Emerald Warriors #10,